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Wild 100 mph chase damages three CHP units

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POSTED December 30, 2012 11:44 p.m.

A Manteca fugitive damaged three police vehicles during an hour-long chase during which he hit speeds up to 100 mph, and drove the wrong way on numerous roads including Highway 99.

The wild pursuit by CHP officers started shortly before midnight Saturday and involved the suspect using three vehicles in an unsuccessful bid to escape arrest.

CHP public information officer James Smith said the man and his accomplices’ names could not be released because of continuing robbery investigations. The driver was wanted in connection with three robberies in San Joaquin County. He had two outstanding felony robbery warrants for his arrest.

The suspect and two female companions were arrested after three patrol units had been damaged – one major, one moderate and one minor. A female passenger was charged with possession of stolen property, conspiracy and resisting arrest. A second woman arrested was charged with aiding and abetting a felon after she allegedly provided a backup Mercury sedan for the suspect to use in avoiding capture. Highway Patrol helicopter officers observed the cars being switched on a Stockton surface street from overhead.

The driver was jailed on two counts of felony evading, three counts of felony evading while traveling the wrong way on the freeways and various weapons charges including possession of a semi-automatic Glock hand gun and for being a felon in possession of a weapon and ammunition.

He was also charged with two counts of auto theft, three counts of possession of methamphetamine and the two $100,000 armed robbery warrants. Two guns were confiscated and turned over to the Stockton Police Department for processing in the investigation.

The scenario began at about 11:45 Saturday night when a CHP dispatcher was advised of a stolen vehicle being driven on Sutro Drive toward Waterloo Road. Within three minutes patrol units located the vehicle traveling near Waterloo Road and initiated a pursuit.

Suspect goes wrong way on Highway 99

The officers followed the stolen Toyota pickup toward Highway 99 and requested air support from the CHP helicopter to assist them in keeping the vehicle in sight. Their report noted that the driver of the pickup truck entered the southbound lanes of the freeway heading the wrong way – resulting in their immediate termination of the pursuit.

The direction of the suspect vehicle was monitored through other police sightings and citizens’ 911 calls to CHP dispatch. At various times the Stockton CHP units would engage the vehicle again on surface streets with the suspect going the wrong way again and the pursuing officer terminating the chase once more.

A CHP sergeant located the pickup abandoned on a residential street. Residents said the driver took a purple Volvo that had been parked and left running in the 800 block of Hillcrest Drive. A gun was recovered near the abandoned vehicle, officers said.

Patrol units quickly located the Volvo traveling eastbound on Morada Lane heading toward Highway 99. They reported that it again entered the southbound freeway lanes headed into traffic the wrong way. One more time the pursuit was terminated for public safety concerns.

Police units in the area, and more 911 calls from citizens, kept officers within the general vicinity until the CHP helicopter arrived over the Highway 99 chase scene.

At about 12:15 a.m. Sunday– less than half an hour after the pursuit started – the helicopter assumed the primary responsibility of pursuing the Volvo. Smith said that due to the dangerous driving by the suspect, all CHP ground units were advised to discontinue contact with the fleeing Volvo.

Smith noted that the helicopter kept the Volvo in sight as it traveled on Highway 99, I-5 and the Highway 4 Crosstown Freeway.

CHP believed there was a carjacking

Smith said the Volvo came to a stop on Church Street east of Fresno Avenue where the helicopter advised ground units that the male driver appeared to be carjacking a maroon Mercury sedan with the driver of the car remaining in the vehicle. As a result of the alleged carjacking, black and white CHP units reengaged the vehicle.

Officers attempted to perform a pit maneuver designed to cause the Volvo to spin out of control at Lincoln and Sonora streets. The driver reportedly shoved the female driver out of the car and accelerated westbound on Lincoln Street directly towards an officer, sideswiping the entire driver’s side of the patrol car.

A second CHP officer witnessed the assault on his partner and used his patrol unit pinning the Mercury sedan to end the pursuit. The male driver then jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot, but he was taken into custody without the use of force, Smith said. A female passenger that had been with the suspect in the pursuit of the Toyota and the Volvo was reportedly in the Mercury sedan and was taken into custody without incident.

Smith said that following the pursuit it was learned that the female who had been with the fleeing suspect in the high speed chases of the Toyota and the Volvo had called the second woman who was allegedly waiting in the Mercury on Church Street to help him get away.

A stolen handgun was found in the Mercury inside a snow hat the male driver had been wearing when videotaped by surveillance cameras during several robberies. Also photographed by the cameras was the hand gun, officers said.

Police have reported that on a couple of occasions following those robbers, the suspect had been seen driving a white Camero with racing stripes.

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